The Maniace Castle is one of the most important monuments of the Swabian period in Syracuse and one of the most famous federic castles. In the site where the castle stands, almost certainly have existed fortifications since the time of the Greeks as it is strategically important for the defense of Porto Grande. It is therefore credible that in 1038 the Byzantine commander Giorgio Maniace, from which the castle took its name, promoted the restoration or construction of works to defend the port of Ortigia during its military campaign. A few years later the Arabs again seized Syracuse and the manor they held until 1087 when they were defeated and expelled by the Normans. There are, however, no obvious traces of this earlier construction. The original plant of the Maniace castle is due to Emperor Federico II of Swabia, who entrusted it to the architect Riccardo da Lentini between 1232 and 1239 shortly after his return from the Crusade to the Holy Land. The construction took place in the same time as some other castles of Sicily and southern Italy emerged. Architectural resemblance is the evidence. Passed to the Angevins in 1266 he was attacked and captured by the Syracusan population in revolt on April 11, 1282. In 1302 Federico d'Aragona signed the armistice with the Angevins. In 1321 he hosted the session of the Sicilian Parliament convened to sanction the legacy of the son of Alfonso III of Aragon, Federico III of Aragon. In 1325 Pietro II of Aragon rebuilt the moats and built two strong to support the castle. With the Aragonese Syracuse, it became the seat of the Regent House, an institution that placed the city as a queen's dowry, from 1305 to 1536; the castle later hosted the queens, Constance in 1362, Mary in 1399, White in 1416, and finally the last one to dominate the city, Germana de Foix, the second wife of Ferdinand the Catholic. Because of this, Castel Maniace was the scene of numerous controversies between the Syracuse Barons, who did not accept the Royal Chamber Institute, and the central power. In 1448 Alfonso the Magnanimus to put an end to the riots of the barons sent to Siracusa General Captain Giovanni Ventimiglia, Count of Geraci, with full powers; these, invited to banquet twenty of those considered to be the chiefs of the turbid, once entered entered them decapitate. On that occasion, the two bronze rays that adorned the facade of the castle on the sides of the large portal were awarded to Viceroy Lopes Ximenes de Urrea at Ventimiglia, who brought them to Castelbuono. At the time of his death, his son Antonio put them on ornaments of his father's grave. The castle has a powerful 51-meter quadrilateral structure on the side of roughly 12 meters tall in height due to its defensive purpose. At the four corners of the building are four cylindrical towers inserted harmoniously in the wall work. Castel Maniace is accessible via the carport door of former Abela sita barracks, in Syracuse, in the Federico of Svevia square. Crossing the next yard there is a masonry bridge that leads to a door with lateral columns of Spanish era. This bridge replaced the old wooden drawbridge that overwhelmed the moat surrounding the castle at the time of construction and separated it from the southern tip of Ortigia; the wide moat, filled in the sixteenth century, communicated the Great Harbor with the open sea and raised bridge, allowing better defense of the castle in case of attack. Excavations carried out for wise purposes indicated that the original height of the walls was about 18 meters. Although seriously eroded by time and damaged by the work of men, between the external jambs and the inner pillars, a series of marble columns with crowned capitals allow still to identify four zoomorphic figures.